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We lost a great musician on Wednesday. Some of you, who aren’t as “seasoned” as I, may not be familiar with him. Whether it be slow, classic blues or high powered, mesmerizing rock n’ roll riffs, Alvin Lee was the man who could deliver. Best known for his years as lead singer and lead guitarist for Ten Years After, his music didn’t stop with their parting of ways, nor did his ability to entertain and to put out some of the greatest blues and rock one could ask for. This top 10 list is just a sampling of the legacy of music he left us. Rest in peace, Mr. Lee. You were probably my first guitar god and you taught me to stomp my foot, bang my head and shout out loud. You really did “change [my] world.” Thank you.
10. "Good Morning Little School Girl"
First recorded by John Lee Williamson in 1937, this is one of those classic blues songs that has been covered by many an artist since. Lee and Ten Years After do the song justice.
9. "Choo Choo Mama"
The last minute and a half of this video is the crowd cheering for more. The performance though will take your breath away. It sure took away Alvin Lee’s.
8. "Slow Blues in 'C'"
Although this is a slow blues song, Lee manages to give the frets a smokin’ workout.
7. "Rock and Roll Music to the World"
Alvin Lee made it clear through his music that all he wanted to do was play “rock and roll music to the world.” In this song he sings, “I’ll tell the truth, I ain’t no star, I only shout and leave the rest to my guitar.” This is just one superfine example of good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll at its best.
6. "Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You"
More proof that Alvin Lee just loved playing rock 'n' roll and we loved hearing him do it.
Lee and the band use synthesizers to express misgivings about religion.
4. "The Bluest Blues"
George Harrison, who collaborated with Lee on many occasions, takes turns with him on solo guitar in this song from Lee’s 1994 I Hear You Rockin’ album.
3. "One of These Days"
Not necessarily considered a jam band, Alvin Lee and Ten Years After could jam with the best of them.
2. "I’d Love to Change the World"
This was Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’s biggest hit. The song is a good representation of the countercultural sentiment in 1969/1970, however the chorus ironically offers no solution. Here, the song is accompanied by a video made for an AP U.S. History class.
1. "I’m Going Home"
This performance at Woodstock made Alvin Lee a star and put Ten Years After on the map. It showcases Lee’s lightning fast riffs and his bluesy/rock n’ roll singing style at their b-b-b-best.